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Ministry, AFAN Partner To Alleviate Poverty

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Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture is to partner All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN), to alleviate poverty in the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Ukam U Edodi, stated this when the Cross River State and South-South Zonal Chairman and executive of AFAN paid a courtesy call on him in his office, recently in Calabar.
Dr. Edodi maintained that, he was passionate about farming, since it is one sector that has continued to sustain lives despite challenges.
He noted that, if much emphasis has been put on Agriculture since independence, the nation would have been better placed than wholly depending on crude oil which has created uncertainty today.
The Commissioner reasoned that, AFAN is competent and resourceful and called on them to look into processing and marketing along the value chain and all Agricultural products to help sustain the farmers and our economy.
He assured them of the Ministry’s willingness to assist within the limits of available resources and promised to work together with the leadership of AFAN.
Earlier, the Chairman of AFAN, Pastor Etim E Nakanda, informed the Commissioner that they were in his office to congratulate him and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Catherine Egozi for their appointments and thanked the Governor for posting experienced and hard working Chief Executive to the Ministry.
The Chairman intimated the Commissioner that the present executive of AFAN was inaugurated on the 6th Of February 2015 to pilot the affairs of farmers in the State for the next five years.
Pastor Nakanda maintained that, AFAN’s interest to add value through the processing, packaging and marketing of Agricultural value chains would create employment directly and also eradicate slot and post harvest waste.
He called on the Ministry to assist the Association in Capacity building of farmers, employ more Agricultural Project Officers and Extension staff to provide advice to farmers.
In their separate remarks, the Director of Administration, Dr. Francis Adie called on AFAN to concentrate on at least two major Agricultural products to enable them have maximum output while Dr. Martina Ubi, Director, Agricultural Services, advised them to register with the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture to enable members qualify as farmers in the State.

 

Friday Nwagbarar, Calabar

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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